'X-Men' movie round-up: Producer teases upcoming 'Deadpool,' 'Wolverine,' 'X4,' and 'X5' projects

Do you love the X-Men? I mean, really love the X-Men? Would you be happy living in a world where approximately 40 percent of all films released in theaters was some sort of X-Men sequel/prequel/spinoff/reboot/remake/spinboot? Then, my friend, the future belongs to you. Lauren Shuler Donner, the producer of the X films, has an extended interview in the new issue of Empire magazine in which she teases a host of upcoming X projects. Of course, the X-Men comic books have been a spin-off factory for decades now — in the ’90s, essentially every X-Man had their own solo comic series, even X-Man, who wasn’t really named X-Man, but that’s another story I wouldn’t dream of boring you with. Given that the last couple of big-screen X projects have featured a veritable carousel of potentially spinnable characters (Hi, Gambit! Bye, Gambit!), it’s unsurprising to see that there are a few different projects currently in the planning stages.

First up: The long-rumored Ryan Reynolds Deadpool project, a non-spinoff spinoff to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The film is currently in a holding pattern due to Reynolds’ busy dance card. Donner offers a host of tidbits guaranteed to warm our collective geek heart. For one thing, the screenplay (by Zombieland‘s Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) is currently a “an R script… really irreverent and violent,” which is in keeping with the beloved cult character’s general attitude. Donner notes that the film will be “a total reboot” which will largely ignore the weird faux-Deadpool who appeared in the Wolverine film. Says Donner: “We’re either going to pretend that didn’t happen, or mock it.” Hey, any film that mocks X-Men Origins: Wolverine is okay by us! (In regards to the Deadpool screenplay’s likely rating, a representative for 20th Century Fox told EW, “We have made no determinations on the Deadpool script.” Fingers crossed that R-rating stays, or we’ll just have to start counting the seconds until the unrated DVD.)

In regards to The Wolverine, the non-sequel sequel to X-MO:W, Donner confirmed that there is still no replacement for director Darren Aronofsky, who recently left the Japan-set film. (Star Hugh Jackman told EW earlier today that he’s still on board the project and is “not going to settle” in the search for a new director: “Everyone is still pushing forward to getting it done.”)

But Donner’s big news focuses on a pair of actual-sequel sequels. Although there have been rumors that the upcoming prequel X-Men: First Class may mark the beginning of a new trilogy — imagine, a prequel-threequel! — Donner indicates that there are currently plans in motion to continue the original X trilogy. Says Donner, “We took the treatment [for X4] to Fox and they love it…and X4 leads into X5.”

Fox tells EW that those future X-Men projects “are just discussions,” but given that the X franchise has so far grossed roughly $1.5 billion worldwide for the studio, it’s a fair bet that the mainline X series will continue at some point. Less clear is if X4 and X5 would feature original cast members like Halle Berry (who survived X3) or Famke Janssen and James Marsden (who didn’t, but this is X-Men, so resurrection springs eternal), to say nothing of spin-off overlord Hugh Jackman. The series could feasibly refocus on a group of younger mutants with cheaper salaries exciting new interpersonal problems to explore. Or perhaps the bigscreen X series could leap into an dystopian alternate reality where America is ruled by a genocidal overlord and everyone has cool new costumes. That would be an alterna-sequel anti-remake pre-spin boot-off with absolute trilogy potential, so Yahtzee! (Hey, it happened in the comics in 1995, and it was awesome.)

That concludes this round-up of X-film related news, although be sure to check here constantly for the next twenty years for irregular updates. PopWatchers, excited about these upcoming X-Men projects? Hoping the Deadpool project can actually morph into an R-rated comedy? Anything you absolutely need to see in a theoretical X4 or X5 film? Think it’s time they just pull the trigger and do Days of Future Past?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Read more:
Hugh Jackman: ‘The Wolverine’ knocked back, but not dead
‘The Wolverine’: no short list of directors yet to replace Darren Aronofsky, says source
‘Wolverine 2′: Who should be the new director?
Darren Aronofsky no longer directing ‘The Wolverine’
‘X-Men: First Class’ trailer: Professor X, Magneto, and…JFK?
How ‘The Wolverine’ director Darren Aronofsky got Hugh Jackman calling up The Rock

Comments (34 total) Add your comment
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  • Heather

    So. Many. Options. I would really love it if they stopped making Wolverine movies. I love Hugh Jackman but I dislike Wolverine. Ugh. Bring back the Gambit option!

    • Brian

      Agreed. Wolverine works best as part of the team and as a foil for Cyclops.

  • John

    They need to make a Gambit movie. Thats one of the most popular X men.

  • therealeverton

    As long as they are actually good I’m thinking X2 or better, with bigger budgets) I don’t care to be honest.

    But with First Class / Wolverine & Deadpool, there is scope to take some risks and bring Apocoplypse or Days Of Future Past into the mainstream (X4 & X5 & X6) series.

    Golod scripts, good directors, good movies please Fox.

  • Brenna


  • April

    I love X-men but I just watched the first X-men with Hugh Jackman today and man he has aged since then! He still looks good but definitely older. I think they should lay off the prequels and do more sequels.

  • tvgirl48

    I didn’t mind the Wolverine prequel because it actually had other characters in it. In my perfect world, all those characters in the first scenes would have had much more screentime, but I still liked it. When the credits rolled for that one, I told my friend that they could make a hundred more X-men movies and I will see and enjoy every single one. There are enough characters to have fun with, so take the time and make them right and I will be there.

  • GeekGirl13

    I’m with you Darren! An “Age of Apocalypse” trilogy would be amazing. Easily one of my all time favorite story lines in the comics.

  • tinybuffyfan

    Taylor Kitsch as Gambit – make it happen!

  • A

    I have to point out how hard I laughed when I read the word “spinboot.” It will probably become a thing in the near future.

    • Rubeus

      I lol’d too. And what about the alterna-sequel anti-remake pre-spin boot-off?

  • Mr. Holloway

    I think the most important thing (other than hiring exciting writers/directors and given them appropriate budgets, of course) is that each of these projects be able to stand on their own.

    One of my biggest pet peeves about stuff like “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Iron Man 2″ is that they seemed more preoccupied with auditioning other characters for spinoffs than they were with making THAT particularly movie good.

  • DJ Wood

    Forget about Magneto. Bring in Apocalypse. Have Angel get turned into the Death Horseman; have the main team consist of Iceman, Rogue, Angel, Kitty, Colossus, Psylocke, Beast, Cannonball, and Wolverine. Bring in Polaris and Quicksilver. Also, lets see some real sentinels!!

  • adam

    I didn’t think I was going to be excited for X-Men: First Class when it was first announced. But after seeing the trailer, I’m actually looking forward to it. I hope it’s good.
    As far as the Wolverine movies, I hated the first one, and I was only looking forward to the next one because of Aronofsky. But now that he’s out, I don’t much care about it anymore (unless they find another director as good as Aronofsky).
    And continuing the original trilogy could be an interesting idea. I hated The Last Stand, but loved the first two movies. I guess my excitement for them would depend on the cast and which characters they decide to showcase. I need some Gambit.

  • xjshw

    All this reboot while the original story is made into more movies doesn’t make a lot of sense. I guess if we all just act like “X-men Origins: Wolverine” didn’t happen, then it would all fall into place. But, since Fox is pushing forward with “The Wolverine” and continuing to use Hugh Jackman as the title character, how are we supposed to forget about the first movie? If you’re going to do a reboot, then you get a new cast. Otherwise…you’re just making a sequel, no matter how bad you want the fans to forget the first one. There should be no more Hugh Jackman as Wolverine unless there is an X4 and X5 made, and they shouldn’t cast Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool if they’re going the reboot route. We already have the issue of Emma Frost being a teenager in the 1980’s in “Origins” and she is now in her 30’s in the 1960’s in “First Class”….that doesn’t make any sense. It seems like one crappy movie (Origins) has really screwed up all of the future X-men titles. If they would just forget about Hugh and Ryan…it would be more plausable to forget about “Origins”. Also…are they forgeting that Wolverine doesn’t age? No matter how good the make-up in Hollywood is, Hugh Jackman is going to look a lot older than he did in 1999 when the original “X-men” was filmed.

  • heather42

    ifn they gunna do a gambit movie,make it a decent gambit…also,this xmen firstclass movie is sooooooooooooo messed up. why are they takling the NEW XMEN versions,and making them the original ones!? also,the girl with the fairy wings was a useless and annoying chracater in teh comics…hated her and beak being together…would love to see something without annoying and useless characters,too… looking forward to deadpool…hope they keep some violence in it..nuthin less than pg-13..

    • William

      New X-Men was actually quite good if you discount the final arc, and would make a good film (A sentinel based mutant genocide, Sublime, and Magneto infiltrating the Institute) if you were willing to do it as X5 so you could establish Genosha in X4 and reassign some roles to cover all the deaths that have already happened (although the fact that Xavier and Jean are dead does simplify the significant plot hole of Xorn’s presence).

    • Chelsea

      I’m at a loss as to why they didn’t include the incredibly popular Gambit in the first three X-Men movies. Seriously could’ve done without Iceman if it meant Rogue/Gambit.

  • Dirk

    They just need to pretend like X3 never happened and do the Dark Phoenix Saga the way Bryan Singer intended.

    • xjshw

      Absolutely agreed. Bryan wanted to have a more true to character Dark Phoenix, and have the Dark Phoenix Saga be the main focus of the movie with no issue of “the cure”. Cyclops would have had a bigger role and wouldn’t have died. He wanted Sigourney Weaver to play Emma Frost, who would have been an old girlfriend of Xavier’s. She would have gone up against the Phoenix and Jean would have lived too. He wanted Channing Tatum for Gambit, and would have been competition for Iceman in winning Rogue’s interest. It also would have been a longer movie, as the first two X-men films were longer than the third and it wouldn’t have seemed so rushed. Overall, it would have been a completely different movie. A much better one.

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